The fresh foods departments of supermarkets have seen their fair share of pandemic-related challenges. Retailers have witnessed significant highs and lows in categories such as meat and produce (both highs), deli/prepared foods (a mixed bag) and fresh bakery and floral (challenged since the beginning of the pandemic). Shopper hoarding, supply challenges, labor issues and the rise of online grocery have all played their part in the changing face of the store perimeter.
The SN 2021 Fresh Food Trends Report, sponsored by fresh food technology platform Afresh surveyed 116 retailers/wholesalers with responsibility for the fresh food department (including chain, independent and online retailers) on their experiences over the past 12 months and what their expectations for 2021 are. The survey was conducted from mid-March through mid-April 2021.
Here are some highlights:
• 81% of respondents say that sales in perimeter categories increased in the past 12 months
• Nearly half of respondents (47%) expect perimeter sales to increase in the next 12 months
• 60% of retailers say they plan to change their perimeter assortment in the next 12 months
• Big-box retailers are the biggest competitor to grocers’ fresh food departments, noted by 45% of respondents
• Attracting/training qualified employees is retailers’ greatest fear in the perimeter, cited by 31% of respondents
• Quality/freshness is overwhelmingly the most important issue for shoppers in fresh departments, said 62% of retailers.
For the full survey results, click through the gallery here.